Personal Favorite Directors

by shukigk | created - 07 Sep 2012 | updated - 17 Apr 2013 | Public

All the listed works are movies/series rated 8 or higher. I also only listed directors with at least 3 movies of that caliber.

1. Hayao Miyazaki

Director | Gake no ue no Ponyo

Hayao Miyazaki is one of Japan's greatest animation directors. The entertaining plots, compelling characters, and breathtaking animation in his films have earned him international renown from critics as well as public recognition within Japan. The Walt Disney Company's commitment to introduce the ...

Favorite works:

1. My Neighbor Totoro 10/10 2. Princess Mononoke 10/10 3. Spirited Away 9/10 4. Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind 9/10 5. Castle in the Sky 8/10

Avg: 9.2

2. Hideaki Anno

Director | Shin Gojira

Hideaki Anno was born on May 22, 1960 in Ube, Yamaguchi, Japan. He is known for his work on Shin Godzilla (2016), Evangerion shin gekijôban: Jo (2007) and Kaze tachinu (2013). He has been married to Moyoco Anno since March 26, 2002.

Favorites:

1. The End of Evangelion 10/10 2. Neon Genesis Evangelion 10/10 3. His and Her Circumstances 9/10 4. Evangelion 2.0 8/10 5. Aim for the top: Gunbuster 8/10

Avg: 9.0

3. Billy Wilder

Writer | The Apartment

Originally planning to become a lawyer, Billy Wilder abandoned that career in favor of working as a reporter for a Viennese newspaper, using this experience to move to Berlin, where he worked for the city's largest tabloid. He broke into films as a screenwriter in 1929, and wrote scripts for many ...

Favorite works:

1. The Apartment 10/10 2. Double Indemnity 9/10 3. Sunset Boulevard 9/10 4. Some Like it Hot 9/10 5. Witness for the Prosecution 8/10

Avg: 9.0

4. Akira Kurosawa

Writer | Kakushi-toride no san-akunin

After training as a painter (he storyboards his films as full-scale paintings), Kurosawa entered the film industry in 1936 as an assistant director, eventually making his directorial debut with Sanshiro Sugata (1943). Within a few years, Kurosawa had achieved sufficient stature to allow him greater...

Favorite works:

1. Seven Samurai 10/10 2. Rashomon 9/10 3. Ran 9/10 4. Yojimbo 8/10 5. Sanjuro 8/10

Avg: 8.8

5. James Cameron

Writer | Avatar

James Francis Cameron was born on August 16, 1954 in Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada. He moved to the United States in 1971. The son of an engineer, he majored in physics at California State University before switching to English, and eventually dropping out. He then drove a truck to support his ...

Favorites: 1. Aliens 9/10 2. Terminator 2 9/10 3. The Abyss 9/10 4. Titanic 8/10 5. The Terminator 8/10

Avg: 8.6

6. Charles Chaplin

Writer | The Great Dictator

Considered to be one of the most pivotal stars of the early days of Hollywood, Charlie Chaplin lived an interesting life both in his films and behind the camera. He is most recognized as an icon of the silent film era, often associated with his popular character, the Little Tramp; the man with the ...

Favorites:

1. City Lights 9/10 2. The Great Dictator 9/10 3. Modern Times 9/10 4. The Kid 8/10 5. Limelight 8/10

Avg: 8.6

7. Alfred Hitchcock

Director | Psycho

Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born in Leytonstone, Essex, England. He was the son of Emma Jane (Whelan; 1863 - 1942) and East End greengrocer William Hitchcock (1862 - 1914). His parents were both of half English and half Irish ancestry. He had two older siblings, William Hitchcock (born 1890) and ...

Favorite works:

1. Psycho 9/10 2. Vertigo 9/10 3. Notorious 8/10 4. Rear Window 8/10 5. The Birds 8/10

Avg: 8.4

8. Steven Spielberg

Producer | Artificial Intelligence: AI

One of the most influential personalities in the history of cinema, Steven Spielberg is Hollywood's best known director and one of the wealthiest filmmakers in the world. He has an extraordinary number of commercially successful and critically acclaimed credits to his name, either as a director, ...

Favorites:

1. Schindler's List 9/10 2. Raiders of the Lost Ark 8/10 3. Saving Private Ryan 8/10 4. Jurassic Park 8/10 5. Jaws 8/10

Avg: 8.2

9. Blake Edwards

Writer | Peter Gunn

Blake Edwards' stepfather's father J. Gordon Edwards was a silent screen director, and his stepfather Jack McEdward was a stage director and movie production manager. Blake acted in a number films, beginning with Ten Gentlemen from West Point (1942) and wrote a number of others, beginning with ...

Favorite Works:

1. Days of Wine and Roses 9/10 2. A Shot in the Dark 8/10 3. Breakfast at Tiffany's 8/10 4. The pink Panther 8/10

Avg: 8.25

10. Christopher Nolan

Writer | Dunkirk

Best known for his cerebral, often nonlinear storytelling, acclaimed writer-director Christopher Nolan was born on July 30, 1970 in London, England. Over the course of 15 years of filmmaking, Nolan has gone from low-budget independent films to working on some of the biggest blockbusters ever made.

...

Favorites:

1. Memento 9/10 2. The Dark Knight Rises 8/10 3. The Dark Knight 8/10 4. Batman Begins 8/10

Avg: 8.25

11. Ridley Scott

Producer | The Martian

Described by film producer Michael Deeley as "the very best eye in the business", director Ridley Scott was born on November 30, 1937 in South Shields, Tyne and Wear (then County Durham). His father was an officer in the Royal Engineers and the family followed him as his career posted him ...

Favorites:

1. Gladiator 10/10 2. Alien 9/10 3. Blade Runner 9/10

Avg: 9.33

12. Sergio Leone

Writer | Once Upon a Time in America

Sergio Leone was virtually born into the cinema - he was the son of Roberto Roberti (A.K.A. Vincenzo Leone), one of Italy's cinema pioneers, and actress Bice Valerian. Leone entered films in his late teens, working as an assistant director to both Italian directors and U.S. directors working in ...

Favorites:

1. Once Upon a Time in the West 10/10 2. Once Upon a Time in America 9/10 3. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly 8/10

Avg: 9.0

13. Peter Jackson

Producer | The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Peter Jackson was born as an only child in a small coast-side town in New Zealand in 1961. When a friend of his parents bought him a super 8 movie camera (because she saw how much he enjoyed taking photos), the then eight-year-old Peter instantly grabbed the thing to start recording his own movies,...

Favorites:

1. The Fellowship of the Ring 9/10 2. The Two Towers 9/10 3. The Return of the King 9/10

Avg: 9.0

14. Luc Besson

Writer | Le cinquième élément

Luc Besson spent the first years of his life following his parents, scuba diving instructors, around the world. His early life was entirely aquatic. He already showed amazing creativity as a youth, writing early drafts of The Big Blue (1988) and The Fifth Element (1997), as an adolescent bored in ...

Favorites:

1. Leon: The Professional 10/10 2. La Femme Nikita 8/10 3. The Fifth Element 8/10

Avg: 8.67

15. Roman Polanski

Actor | Chinatown

Roman Polanski is a Polish film director, producer, writer and actor. Having made films in Poland, Britain, France and the USA, he is considered one of the few truly international filmmakers. Roman Polanski was born in Paris in 1933. His parents returned to Poland from France in 1936, three years ...

Favorites:

1. Chinatown 9/10 2. The Pianist 9/10 3. Rosemary's Baby 8/10

Avg: 8.67

16. Ingmar Bergman

Writer | Smultronstället

Ernst Ingmar Bergman was born July 14, 1918, the son of a priest. The film and T.V. series, The Best Intentions (1992) is biographical and shows the early marriage of his parents. The film 'Söndagsbarn' depicts a bicycle journey with his father. In the miniseries Private Confessions (1996) is the ...

Favorites:

1. Fanny and Alexander 9/10 2. The Seventh Seal 9/10 3. The Virgin Spring 8/10

Avg: 8.67

17. Brad Bird

Writer | The Incredibles

Phillip Bradley "Brad" Bird is an American director, screenwriter, animator, producer and occasional voice actor, known for both animated and live-action films. Bird was born in Kalispell, Montana, the youngest of four children of Marjorie A. (née Cross) and Philip Cullen Bird. His father worked in...

Favorites:

1. The Incredibles 9/10 2. The Iron Giant 8/10 3. Ratatouille 8/10

Avg: 8.33

18. Clint Eastwood

Actor | Gran Torino

Clint Eastwood was born May 31, 1930 in San Francisco, the son of Clinton Eastwood Sr., a manufacturing executive for Georgia-Pacific Corporation, and Ruth Wood, a housewife turned IBM operator. He had a comfortable, middle-class upbringing in nearby Piedmont. At school Clint took interest in music...

Favorites:

1. Million Dollar Baby 9/10 2. Letters from Iwo Jima 8/10 3. Gran Torino 8/10

Avg: 8.33

19. Alejandro Amenábar

Writer | The Others

Is the son of a Spanish mother and a Chilean father. His family moved back to Spain when he was 1 year old, and he grew up and studied in Madrid. He wrote, produced and directed his first short film La cabeza at the age of 19, and he was 23 when he directed his feature debut Tesis (1996). His film ...

Favorites:

1. The Others 9/10 2. Tesis 8/10 3. The Sea Inside 8/10

Avg: 8.33

20. Darren Aronofsky

Director | Pi

Darren Aronofsky was born February 12, 1969, in Brooklyn, New York. Growing up, Darren was always artistic: he loved classic movies and, as a teenager, he even spent time doing graffiti art. After high school, Darren went to Harvard University to study film (both live-action and animation). He won ...

Favorites:

1. Requiem for a Dream 9/10 2. Black Swan 8/10 3. The Wrestler 8/10

Avg: 8.33

21. Satoshi Kon

Writer | Papurika

Satoshi Kon was born in 1963. He studied at the Musashino College of the Arts. He began his career as a Manga artist. He then moved to animation and worked as a background artist on many films (including Roujin Z (1991) by 'Katsuhiro Otomo'). Then, in 1995, he wrote an episode of the anthology film ...

Favorites:

1. Millennium Actress 9/10 2. Perfect Blue 8/10 3. Tokyo Godfathers 8/10

Avg: 8.33

22. Stanley Kubrick

Director | 2001: A Space Odyssey

Stanley Kubrick was born in Manhattan, New York City, to Sadie Gertrude (Perveler) and Jacob Leonard Kubrick, a physician. His family were Jewish immigrants (from Austria, Romania, and Russia). Stanley was considered intelligent, despite poor grades at school. Hoping that a change of scenery would ...

Favorites:

1. A Clockwork Orange 9/10 2. The Shinning 8/10 3. 2001: A Space Odyssey 8/10

Avg: 8.33